The Strangest Places in the World to Holiday

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Aug 14, 2014 by Smart Blog

If you’re planning on booking a holiday in 2014 but feel less than inspired by the dreary weather of the UK, the crowded beaches of the Algarve or the swarming streets of New York, then give consideration to a destination with a bit of a difference. You’ll enjoy lifelong memories and tell unrivalled stories as a result.

Here are five of the strangest places on Earth to take a holiday:

 

Chernobyl, Ukraine

The world’s worst ever nuclear catastrophe occurred in April 1986 after an explosion and fire released massive amounts of radioactive particles which spread across large parts of Europe. Half a million workers attempted to contain the damage and long term effects, including cancers and deformities, persisted for years.

Private and group tours of the nuclear power plant are available with a number of travel companies taking you right into the heart of the exclusion zone. The day trips also include a visit to the uninhabited and desolate town of Pripyat where you will view the empty buildings and the abandoned fairground rides. Yes the exclusion zone is still contaminated with radiation and yes you’ll have to go through decontamination at the end of the day. (But at least you'll know you've had a shower.)

Roswell, USA

Spiritual home of UFOlogists (people who chase UFOs), Roswell was the scene of alleged alien spacecraft crash in the late 1940s. US military reports of a crashed UFO were hastily altered to a crashed ‘weather balloon’ but by then it was far too late: for many the truth was out there even if the US authorities hadn’t meant to say so.

So during a holiday in Roswell make sure you visit the International UFO museum or the UFO festival which takes place every July (fancy dress optional). Unfortunately accessing the US military base where the said UFO is alleged to be concealed will certainly result in your arrest and deportation. Don’t put that on the itinerary.

Afghanistan

You’ve probably seen Afghanistan in the news a lot in recent years, most likely in the sections headed ‘War’ and ‘Al-Qaeda’ but don’t let that tiny fact deter you. Afghanistan is a country of remarkable scenery dominated by deserts and mountains so understandably it can get either very cold or blisteringly hot (and we’re talking in excess of 50 degrees). With ruins of 12th century citadels, fascinating archaeological sites and a people who are warm and welcoming (save for the occasional Taliban fighter), there’s plenty to see and enjoy. Don’t expect to mingle with too many other tourists though.

Antarctica

Not the sort of place you’ll enjoy if your idea of a holiday is basking in the hot Mediterranean sun with a pina colada, nevertheless Antarctica is a continent of stunning scenery and unforgettable experiences. You won’t be able to pick up a flight from Heathrow unfortunately but specialist tour companies will get you there aboard an ice-breaker ship and once there you’ll marvel at the sights: abundant penguins, albatrosses and whales not to mention icebergs aplenty and crumbling glaciers. At the right time of year you’ll also enjoy round-the-clock daylight. (But leave the bikini at home.)

The Amazon

Trekking through a rainforest might not be everyone’s idea of relaxation but The Amazon is a place unlike any other on Earth. Covering nine South American countries the Amazon Basin can be accessed from many different places with Bolivia providing a more cost-effective alternative to the more popular Brazil. With a diverse wildlife population including capybara, alligators, turtles and monkeys you’re guaranteed to have more fun than wandering around your local zoo. Trekking through rainforest can get a little warm at times but this really is an expedition with a difference. Swimming in the Amazon isn’t advised due to what lies beneath.

Safety

While tourists are generally safe in most countries, these destinations may carry an additional risk to personal safety or health so travelling with a reputable and established tour company is advisable. Your guides will have an in-depth knowledge of the region and measures will be in place to mitigate any risks, leaving you to focus on enjoying a once in a lifetime experience.